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Staging the Sherleys' Travails

Hutchings, M. (2015) Staging the Sherleys' Travails. Cahiers Élisabéthains, 87 (1). pp. 43-62. ISSN 0184-7678

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To link to this item DOI: 10.7227/CE.87.1.3


The remarkable Sherley brothers and their maverick diplomacy evidently appealed to early seventeenth-century readers, and dramatists recognised the theatrical potential their adventures offered. Scholars have been drawn to The Travailes of the Three English Brothers for its depiction of encounters with 'others', as a portrait of early modern England's ambitions beyond its shores. This article examines how, rather than serving as propaganda, as Thomas Sherley must have hoped, the theatrical treatment exposed the brothers to a sustained critique, deploying irony to undercut the heroic motives to which they laid claim and revealing the ideological fault lines at the heart of their enterprise.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Early Modern Research Centre (EMRC)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
ID Code:36302
Publisher:Manchester University Press

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